Ontario Health Minister Deb Mathews recently commented on the record numbers of doctors licensed in Ontario in 2010, calling it a “reverse brain drain”. Of the 3,708 doctors that were licensed in Ontario, 41 percent were from other countries whereas as recently as ten years ago, only 28 percent of licensees were held by foreign trained doctors.
Due to Canadian immigration’s attracting increasingly qualified immigrants to Canada and ensuring that they are able to obtain a relevant medical license, approximately 94 percent of Ontarians now have access to their own doctor. With a diverse group of doctors now practicing in Ontario their cultural backgrounds will more accurately reflect the diverse group of patients that make up Ontario.
An anticipated report from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, credits the rise of foreign-trained doctors to increased recruiting conducted overseas, the larger number of openings for international medical graduates to complete residencies in Ontario hospitals, and the availability of mentors to aid in the adjustment to Canada. The report also notes a general trend, dating back to 1997, of an increased number of licenses being granted annually. This trend is expected to continue as general practitioners, and other medical professionals, remain in high-demand throughout Ontario.
This increase in the number of foreign-trained medical practitioners can be attributed to the multiple avenues to Canadian Permanent Residency available to doctors and other skilled workers in the medical field, made available by various Canadian immigration programs.
Under the Federal Skilled Worker stream, specialist physicians, general practitioners, psychologists, dentists, and family physicians are all deemed eligible for Canadian Permanent Residency, as a result of their work experience and other qualifications. Canadian immigration’s desire to bring in experienced medical personnel is not limited solely to doctors. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, medical radiation technologists, dental hygienists, and dental therapists, are all potentially eligible to immigrate to Canada due to their professional experience in high-demand medical fields.
Individuals that have recently graduated from a medical school are similarly eligible for Canadian Permanent Residency in Ontario, even with no job offers. Medical school graduates from any of the medical schools in Ontario can qualify for a Provincial Nomination certificate from the Government of Ontario.
As medical professionals continue to be in high-demand, both the Government of Ontario and Canadian immigration will seek out properly qualified foreign-trained professionals to come establish themselves in Ontario.
For more information about immigrating to Canada, contact FWCanada – Canadian Immigration Law Firm